After reading Anthony Bourdain’s “Bone in the Throat”, a murder mystery, I had low expectations for his “A Cook’s Tour - In Search of the Perfect Meal.” After reading just a few pages of this book, however, I concluded that Bourdain is significantly better at writing about real people and real events than he is at making up characters and events for a novel. In fact, in this book he shows his talents as a writer with well articulated descriptions and personal insights.
“A Cook’s Tour” was the basis for Bourdain’s travel series on Food Network. Each chapter highlights Bourdain’s trip to a new location, including cities in Cambodia, Vietnam, Portugal, France, Spain, Russia, America (San Francisco and Napa Valley), and so on. As the title suggests, Bourdain was in search of the perfect meal. Interestingly, some of those meals consisted of eating an iguana, an entire four-foot long cobra, beginning with the still pumping heart and a cup of its blood, and many, many other animal parts that we typically don’t find at our local American restaurants. Bourdain writes about these meals with fascinating detail, and without censorship. I found myself laughing out loud, squirming, feeling horrified, and experiencing a whole host of other reactions as I read about Bourdain’s adventures. All of this made for a quick read, a desire to search out and watch his TV series, and a desire to read more of Bourdain’s travels.